Saturday, January 17, 2015

Becoming Floridians

In the fall of 2012 we opted to make South Dakota our official state of residency, becoming "Paper South Dakotans."  There were a whole host of reasons for choosing South Dakota, not the least of which is that it's easy for full-time RV'ers to become residents -- there's no income tax and a bunch of financially benefiting factors that I won't go into here.

We were happy as paper South Dakotans. I even posted about it in September 2012 where I included an image of the state flag and map, a photo of our paper residence and our single paper employee.

But alas...the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare" changed everything for us.

Here's what happened. Wayne is over age 65 and therefore, a recipient of Medicare with a supplement. Not much change for him when Obamacare was passed.  It was my problem.  Not age 65, I must buy private health care which, while expensive, was not hard to obtain in September 2012.  With the change in the healthcare law, though, the residency loopholes available for full-time RV'ers were closed and the insurance companies were required to obtain proof of actual residency in the state. Some companies opted to leave the state, including the one I used.  I spent countless hours researching, telephoning and shopping. If I managed to find a company willing to write my coverage, any claims I might have could very well be denied because we didn't really LIVE in South Dakota.

We looked at our options and restudied the choices, finally choosing to become Floridians. That means a new mail agent which, in turn, meant change of addresses on everything, right down to the cute little personal cards we hand out to people we meet.  We got new Florida drivers licenses, new license plates for the car and the coach, had the insurance changed on both vehicles, changed Wayne insurance and prescription drug addresses, which meant at least one change in company.  It wasn't cheap or easy, but we did it.

Welcome to Florida.

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